In 2021, a poster not unique to the School District of Lee County sparked controversy and heated debate over the District’s policies regarding LGBTQ students, specifically which bathrooms they should be permitted to use.
Some people disagreed with letting transgender children, for instance, use bathrooms that matched their identity.
“I do not support the board’s best practices or their actions in the LGBTQ [students] in the public school system,” one parent said at a school board meeting.
“Trans kids just want to use the bathroom of their choice, and LGBTQ students want to feel safer in their schools,” said an LGBTQ student at that same meeting. “This is the first step to being seen.”
Several board members went back and forth on the topic, expressing their concerns about age-appropriateness and parental rights. Lee County School Board member Gwyn Gittens spoke of her conversations with students.
“The one thing I want you all to know before you get the opportunity to speak… one of the things they said is, ‘Sometimes adults can mess it up for everybody,'” Gittens said.
A new, revised code of conduct has been issued without the poster in it. School district staff is now issuing a guidebook addressing anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policies, including how to handle LGBTQ student rights.